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Sam Allardyce urges defenders to avoid Diego Costa confrontation

Sam Allardyce urges his West Ham United defenders to avoid any confrontations with Chelsea striker Diego Costa.

Sam Allardyce has urged his West Ham United defenders to avoid any confrontations with Chelsea striker Diego Costa when the two sides meet at Upton Park on Wednesday.

Costa's aggressive approach often attracts criticism, but the 17 goals he has scored so far in his debut Premier League season has been a key reason behind Chelsea's success.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Allardyce revealed his admiration for the Spain international and admitted that his side must not give him extra motivation.

"We're not to get involved with him, our central defenders are not to get involved with how he might upset them," the Hammers boss told reporters.

"People say he's an old-fashioned centre forward because he seems to get motivated by the physical and niggly aspect of it so we're not to get involved in that.

"I don't think it winds him up - it winds him up to make him better which is a silly thing to do."

Costa scored as Chelsea won the reverse fixture 2-0 in December.

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City28205356193765
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd28159455322354
3Leicester CityLeicester28165748321653
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5Everton2614483933646
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs27136846281845
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18Fulham28511122233-1126
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2839162056-3618
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2842221645-2914

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